One of the most valuable things my parents did for me growing up was talk to me about sex.
What did I say?
Yes. They talked to me regularly about sex. They miraculously somehow didn’t feel awkward about it, or they hid it really well.
The five of you who read this blog are likely to have varied responses to what I just wrote. One of you is aghast and clicking to a new tab. One of you is turning beet red but will endure until the end. One of you will never read again. One of you is breathing a sigh of relief since this may not apply to you. And maybe, just maybe, one of you will benefit from what I’m about to write.
So I’m speaking mostly to us parents and parents-to-be, to simply offer an encouragement to talk to our kids about sex. I’m not quite sure why I feel so emboldened to write about this tonight. The quickening in my heart to do so has been here before. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen the detriment we parents can put our children in if we are either too embarrassed to do it, don’t know where to start, or feel like they’ll just figure things out as they go along and it’s not that important. It’s never too late to start, and I’ll go out on a limb and say that it’s never too soon to start talking about this with our children either (using age appropriate information).
Matt and I are learning just as you all are what age appropriate information is, but may I suggest that the more we start to introduce this topic to our children, the more comfortable and ready we’ll be to have more in-depth conversations. And possibly more importantly, our children will know we as their parents are the safe ones they can come to to ask questions about sex.
I am certainly not an expert. But, I do want to point out some resources that might be helpful as we try to navigate through this:
- My friend, Marla, touch-pointed on this today, too. She speaks about sex regularly to various groups around the Ohio area. And she knows how to write about this so much better than I. In her post today she offers other resources than the ones I’m going to tell you about, so definitely read it as well as the comments where people chimed in their resources, too.
- Antique Mommy is one of my favorite bloggers of all time. She only posts occasionally nowadays, but when she does, I’m all on it like a bee to a flower. Really bad pun, I know. But can we just laugh at my attempt to be light-hearted? She wrote this post a while back and I never forgot about it. Again, someone who knows how to say it so much better.
- There’s a book series called “God’s Design for Sex” that I’d recommend. We have the first book for ages 3-5 called, The Story of Me. We’ve read it several times with Brennan.
I’ll admit, when I think about all we need to teach our kids about life in general blows me away and can send me into a panic if I start to think everything needs to be taught at once. My poor children! Usually, there have been specific situations that have precipitated our desire to get out The Story of Me and begin an age-appropriate introduction to sex. For example: when we started potty training and were faced with lots of body part talk; who can help him go potty; and what is never, ever good for anyone to do to him.
Also, we realized that as he started school again two mornings a week that he’s soaking up a lot more from other kids than what we’d like at times. We wanted to reiterate to him what we talked about during potty training, and that Daddy and Mommy want to be the ones to answer his questions, that he can always come to us about anything with any question. Our hope is that we will continue to initiate respectful conversations about our bodies and God’s intention for sex, and that he’d know that we are approachable. Even at three and a half, we emphasize that these conversations are for only our family at home. We might be completely crazy, but we helped him with something he could say to his friends or a group of peers that would casually release him from a such a conversation outside our home.
Did any of you bear with me through this? With gritted teeth? I know this is generally an uncomfortable topic, but it needn’t be within our families, with our children. We can ask God for wisdom on how to talk about sex with our kids, and He will generously supply it (James 1:5). Let’s just take the step to start talking about it so our kids can feel comfortable coming to us as their parents, and they can be better equipped to face what will be an onslaught of temptation and peer pressure.
Learning alongside you…and I can’t believe I’m hitting the ‘publish’ button to this,